Guns N' Roses - with a completely new line up behind frontman Axl Rose - performed in Prague on Tuesday, 14 years after Rose first took the stage in the Czech capital. Tuesday's show, held at Prague's Sazka Arena, saw an almost sell-out crowd. Rose took to the stage with the band's signature song "Welcome to the Jungle". Other hits performed included "Live and Let Die" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".
The Czech Republic has joined a growing list of countries recognising Montenegro's independence, ten days after the Balkan republic became Europe's newest sovereign state. Montenegro, once part of Yugoslavia, formally declared its independence on June 3rd after 55.5 percent of its voters last month supported separation from Serbia, with which it had been tied in a loose federation since 2003.
President Vaclav Klaus has expressed satisfaction with the progress that coalition talks have made. Following a meeting with Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek on Wednesday, Mr Klaus did not object to the three-party coalition being one short of the majority necessary to win a confidence vote. In a Czech Radio interview last year, the President said he wanted the parties of a new government to guarantee that they will have majority seats in parliament. At the time of the interview, though, he reacted to speculation that the main party in the fragile coalition, the Social Democrats, planned to form a minority government with the tacit support of the Communists.
The Czech football team's two first choice strikers will miss Saturday's Group E game against Ghana at the World Cup in Germany. Milan Baros has been struggling with a foot injury and missed most of the squad's training sessions, while Jan Koller has been ruled out of the remaining two group games after he strained his hamstring in Monday's 3-0 win over the United States.
The Prague Stock Exchange has experienced one of the worst days in its
history. With the value of shares tumbling, Tuesday saw a major
sell-off - a record 11 billion crowns worth of shares. Since the
beginning of the year, the total value of Czech shares has decreased by
over 20 percent.
Analysts say the current situation has nothing to do with prices of firms and economic indicators but rather an expected rise in interest rates in the United States, leading to the transfer of money across the Atlantic.
The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Green Party will sign an agreement to form a centre-right government by the end of the month, Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek told reporters on Wednesday. Mr Topolanek says the framework is in place to sign the agreement by the time the new parliament holds its first session, scheduled for June 27. Though Mr Topolanek would not release details of the agreement, all three parties have said that tax reforms have been agreed in principle and would form the basis of the coalition deal. Mr Topolanek says he is confident the Social Democrats will support the new coalition government.
A group of Czech football fans, who were not granted entry into Germany this week, were turned away for security reasons, the German Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Prague had issued a formal complaint to the ministry, after the Czechs said they were turned away by German border police for not having sufficient funds to cover their trip to the neighbouring state. Germany has been bracing itself for the anticipated three million visitors to the Football World Cup, which it is currently hosting, with tight security measures and controls.
The Green Party have decided to file a complaint with the Constitutional Court against the country's proportional representation electoral system. The Greens, who have won seats in parliament for the first time, say the current system discriminates against smaller parties. But if the court rules in favour of changing the electoral system, the results of the parliamentary elections earlier this month will not be affected.
Czech striker Jan Koller has strained his hamstring and may not be fit until the quarter-final stage of the World Cup, the team's doctor said on Tuesday. "It could anything between 10 days and six weeks," doctor Jiri Foucek told reporters. Koller was carried off on a stretcher just before halftime in Monday's game against the United States, which the Czech Republic won 3:0, thanks in part to an early goal from Koller. There have been conflicting reports over the severity of the injury, with a number of media sites on Tuesday reporting that Koller would be ready to practice as early as this Friday.
An opinion survey conducted by the Factum Invenio agency has indicated that the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek enjoys greater public support than his rival Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek. A third of respondents said they would prefer to see Mr. Topolanek as the country's next prime minister. The outgoing prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, was only supported by a quarter of those polled.
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